Today is the day.
Today is the day, after almost thirteen years, that my husband starts on days.
For almost thirteen years my husband has worked 330-1130, Monday thru Friday. Every. Week. Regardless of what my work schedule was or was changed to. Straight evenings.
Almost exactly ONE YEAR AGO I was worried my husband was going to be laid off from the school he works at. Then SEVEN MONTHS ago he broke his ankle and I found myself in our bedroom crying that this was my worst nightmare; quite literally having to do everything on my own for the next few months.
And today I am both excited and a little scared about what the future holds for us with him on straight days.
Thirteen years ago my husband was 26 years old and I was 21 years old. We did not blink an eye at those hours. It was a position at an establishment he wanted to work at for years and I supported him, like a good fiance/wife. Our family was young; our daughter was not even in the picture yet. We got by on the thought that “one day” he’ll come to days.
“One day” has come.
Now we are pushing 40 (him more so than I), our kids are approaching the teen-aged years and they have after school activities several times a week. A lot of childcare facilities and options end at 13. Please do not get me started on how the late bus leaves the school before activities are even over. What is the purpose of the said late bus then??
For the last thirteen years, I have felt like a single parent most of the week. Thirteen years of making sure the kids were taken care of after school; homework was done and dinner was made. Several years of making sure Thing 2 got to her Girl Scout meetings and Cheer practice as well as making sure Thing 1 got his soccer practice several times a week. A lot of years of after-school arguing.
We are forunate that our families live close to us. And they helped when they could but, it has been JUST ME.
It has been tough and downright exhausting some weeks. I felt so alone. No one else I actually knew was in any kind of similar experience.
It was hard to go out with the kids during the week to events and it just is the three of us… Seeing a mother AND a father at Meet The Teacher Nights or practices. For a lot of years, it was just me and my parents at any school concerts.
I am not saying that the husband having a “normal” work schedule will make everything gravy. But I think overall, we are ready to accept this change. Most importantly, the kids need to see and spend real time with their father. They’ve spent enough time just hearing my mouth at night.
I will be happy to have my husband around during the week and have some resemblance of normalcy. But on the flip side, it will be so strange. For thirteen years it has been JUST ME in the evenings making sure everyone got where they were supposed to be and everything got done. After the kids went to bed, it was, JUST ME.
It’s weird to think it will no longer be JUST ME.